Title: It's In His Kiss (Bridgerton Family #7)
Author: Julia Quinn
Release Date: October '09
Publisher: Harper Collins (US)/Piatkus (UK)
Description from Goodreads: IF IT'S IN HIS HEART ... IT'S IN HIS KISS
MEET OUR HERO...
Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth's sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past... and the key to his future. The problem is—it's written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.
MEET OUR HEROINE ...
All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She's fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken, and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there's something about her—something charming and vexing—that grabs him and won't quite let go...
MEET POOR MR. MOZART...
Or don't. But rest assured, he's spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual—and annually discordant—Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth's every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other ... and that there is nothing as simple—or as complicated—as a single, perfect kiss
My thoughts: I've been on a bit of a historical romance kick the past few months, and had heard Julia Quinn talked about by a lot of people as one of the must-read authors of the genre. Although it's the 7th in the series, this is only the 3rd I've read - I don't think it's made much difference taking them out of order, as each so far has stood on its own very well.
Hyacinth is the youngest of 8 children, almost all of whom are happily married by this point. But now it's her turn to look for a husband, her intelligence & outspoken manner, which have always been part of her character, are a little off putting to some men. However, every week she reads for Gareth's grandmother, the fierce Lady Danbury, and she's there when Gareth turns up to ask Lady Danbury about where he might be able to get the diary translated. Despite the fact they don't always get on smoothly, Hyacinth agrees to translate the diary, and soon gets caught up in the story she's discovering there. Together, she and Gareth are then launched on an adventure of trying to follow the clues in the diary to find some valuable jewellery hidden in Gareth's family home.
I love the interactions between Gareth and Hyacinth, and what they think about each other when they aren't together. Of course it's clear from the begining that they're going to end up together, but what I like about historical romance is seeing the journey unfold and watching the characters figure it out themselves. Hyacinth is very feisty, and it was fun to see her finding her place as a grown woman, not just the youngest sister of so many other people. Gareth has been affected so much by his angry, unhappy father - I was very glad when he finally stood up to the man, and that things worked out well in the end.
Although I'm fairly new to her work, this book helped cement Julia Quinn in my mind as an author who I think I'll always enjoy. 'It's In His Kiss' is a fun historical romance adventure in London, complete with society events, scheming mothers, and town gossip. It was a lot of fun to read.
I give this book 7 stars.